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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Mountain Ring

- Furious Fists

Date Reviewed:
Sep. 19, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.50
Expanded: 2.50
Limited: 3.17

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Mountain Ring 

We end the week with a look at another Stadium: Mountain Ring. I don’t have to be psychic to know that everyone has seen this card has thought of Mr Mime PLF within seconds. 

Like Mr Mime, Mountain Ring prevents all damage done to your Benched Pokémon. Because it’s a Stadium, though, that cuts both ways and also protects your opponent’s Bench, so you wouldn’t be using this in a deck with Landorus EX, Genesect EX, or any other snipe or spread Pokémon. Mountain Ring does have a few advantages over Mr Mime: it doesn’t take up Bench space, can’t give up a Prize, and isn’t shut down by Garbodor LTR’s Garbotoxin Ability. On the other hand, it is much easier for your opponent to get rid of, just by playing a counter Stadium (which most decks do). 

Overall, Mime is the better card for most decks, but this could be an off-beat choice in something running Garbodor, I suppose. Generally though, you will want to take advantage of one of the better Stadiums for you deck, like the damage-boosting Virbank City Gym or Fighting Stadium. In this format, offence always wins over defence. 

Rating 

Modified: 2 (maybe someone can find a use for it)

Expanded: 2.25 (might help protect some Eelektrik/Tynamo, but Skyarrow Bridge will most likely

Limited: 2.5 (not much sniping in Limited, but could counter Training Centre)


aroramage

Hang on, another Stadium? From the new set? No worries, this is the last of the Stadiums from this set, but it's still got an interesting effect! Welcome back to today's card of the day, the Mountain Ring! I like the theme of going up into the mountains to train up your Pokemon before heading off down into the Fighting Stadium, so let's see what the Mountain Ring has to offer!
 
It's an interesting Stadium with an interesting effect: neither player's Benched Pokemon takes any damage from attacks. I've mentioned in passing using this with Seismitoad-EX's Grenade Hammer to avoid damaging your own Bench, but this would also prevent Noivern from spreading around counters with Boomburst and keeps Landorus-EX from dealing that extra 30 damage he tends to throw around.
 
The most notable card in recent history with an effect like this is Mr. Mime (PLF), but he's busy just working on protecting your Bench. So why play Mountain Ring over Mr. Mime? While it's true that you wouldn't be able to deal damage to your opponent's Benched Pokemon, it does have the added benefit (and in turn disadvantage) of being able to remove (and be replaced by) other Stadiums like Fighting Stadium and Virbank City Gym. If your deck doesn't bother dealing damage to Benched Pokemon, it might not be a bad card to tech in against your opponent's Stadiums, not to mention there's not going to be a massive side effect from this card getting removed like there'd be with Training Center.
 
But there is an advantage of running Mr. Mime rather than Mountain Ring; you'll get the benefits of having access to Fighting Stadium or Virbank Gym AND having your Bench protected from damage rather than having to use a Stadium that also aids your opponent. And all you're really giving up is a Bench slot, which unlike the Stadium cards has about 5 slots rather than just 1 universal slot. Because of that, Mountain Ring probably won't see that much play outside of techs against other Stadiums, usually in decks that aren't Fighting decks or reliant on Virbank/Laser shenanigans.
 
...there's not a lot of those, is there?
 
Rating
 
Standard: 2.5/5 (a decent Stadium, but Mr. Mime does it better)
 
Expanded: 2.5/5 (could be used in decks that need to protect their Bench same as Standard, but again, Mr. Mime does it better)
 
Limited: 2/5 (really, you only "need" this for your Seismitoad-EX, and even then you could just go +39 and not bother with anything else)
 
Arora Notealis: So you start off training in the Training Center, lose out on the first match in the Fighting Stadium, go to the Mountain Ring to train, then return to win the championship! Sounds about right!
 
Weekend Thought: Do you think any of this week's cards deserved a slot in the Top 10? Which do you think will make the biggest impact on the format?


Otaku

We close the week with Mountain Ring (XY: Furious Fists 97/111) is the third new Stadium from our latest set.  It has a nice, simple effect of preventing damage to Benched Pokémon by attacks.  It will not block any other attack effects, such as placing damage counters nor will it stop damage or effects of Abilities.  As is almost always the case with Stadium cards, it applies equally to both players: true advantage is generated by playing it both in the correct deck at the correct time.  The main drawback of this card is that, as a Stadium, your opponent merely needs to play down their own Stadium (with a different name) to discard your own.  There are also a few Pokémon that also can discard the Stadium that is currently in play.  This means you can’t rely too heavily upon it; to get an instant return out of it (and thus avoid risking it ultimately having no effect) you need to either discard your opponent’s Stadium with it or block some damage your own attacker would be inflicting to your own Bench. 

This is not a bad card, but it isn’t overly useful right now because there is too much competition.  First there is Mr. Mime (BW: Plasma Freeze 47/116) and its Bench Barrier Ability.  The major upside is that its effect only protects your own Pokémon.  The “could be good, could be bad” part is that instead of giving up your Stadium slot, you’re giving up a Bench slot (it should rarely be your Active) for a 70 HP, Psychic Weak Basic with a poor attack to do a better job of it.  The definite drawback (at least right now) is that Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) shuts it down, and while it won’t risk being “discarded” by an opponent’s Stadium, anything that can affect a Pokémon can affect it, including the simple solution of KOing the fragile thing.  The other competition comes simply from the many other worthwhile Stadiums one might run, though if my games aren’t overly abnormal, we may once again be getting to a point where not only should you have two to four Stadiums in your deck, but you should try to split them if you are at all able, to help minimize the risk of helping your opponent more than yourself. 

For Standard, any deck focused on attackers that hit their own Bench but not the opponent’s will find this a strong contender, but still not a must run; they might want damage on their Bench for specific attacks or Abilities, or they might prefer to stick with Mr. Mime and/or just need a different Stadium more.  If a deck doesn’t run many (preferably any) attackers that hit the opponent’s Bench, this can still be a good secondary or (less often) primary Stadium.  Even if you run just one or two cards that hit the Bench, you still might use if it your deck is especially vulnerable to Bench damage.  Again, you also need to not be better off with another Stadium; obvious in discussion but an easy mistake to make in actual deck building.  Expanded adds a little more competition, but doesn’t make the effect anymore useful… or at least that is what I believe to be the case (there is even less data available for this format than for the “competitive” metagame in general right now).  For Limited play, take it; this set has two other Stadiums so even if it clashes with your own deck, you may need it because blocking your own Bench damage to your opponent’s Pokémon is less of a concern than one of the other effects (plus… you’ll probably have the room anyway). 

Ratings

Standard: 3/5 - Simple Stadium, deceptively simple looking score; given the nature of the effect in some decks it is much more beneficial, in others it actually hurts the decks performance.  In general it probably clocks in about where the score indicates, perhaps a bit lower, but I think the decks where it works especially well get the composite score back up. 

Expanded: 2.75/5 - As above, but now we have more Stadiums for competition.  Tropical Beach is a tough act to follow, and it isn’t even alone.  Unless something like Garbodor/Landorus-EX proves itself to be the top deck (and by a sufficient margin), Mountain Ring will likely see less play. 

Limited: 5/5 - As stated in the review, there are two other Stadiums in this set, so even if you have attackers that do Bench damage (to the opponent’s Bench), you might need this because Fighting Stadium (+20 damage to Pokémon-EX by Fighting-Types) or Training Center (+30 HP for Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokémon) are more of a problem.  As you should have room for a Stadium, that jumps it up to “must run” status. 

Summary: A useful effect but provided in a manner that makes it somewhat unreliable and just as beneficial to your opponent, Mountain Ring should (justifiably) see some play for decks that just don’t have a better option (our generic Stadiums are kind of weak right now) and because the one-sided (and thus better in most cases) Ability based option is also quite vulnerable right now.


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